Monday, August 10, 2009

‘Amitabh Bachchan ran away with Rekha!…’

Media has always been about great and shocking headlines. ‘Amitabh Bachchan ran away with Rekha!’ will always make a better headline than ‘Laloo Prasad ran away with a train!’

Let me tell you a PR secret of mine. When chalking out news angles, story ideas and planning gossip pegs for my clients, I always think in headlines. Then, the text just follows and fits into place. It’s simple logic. If the headline catches your reader’s attention (like this one caught yours), more than half your battle is won. The rest of it depends on how gripping the content and adjoining picture is.

Photographs speak for themselves. A good picture will get better placements, while an ordinary one could get the best of story ideas dropped. If your publicist gets this combo right, national mileage can be cakewalk for you or your movie. A good PR will always brainstorm and then guide you with smart headlines.

PRs are often labelled ‘spin doctors’ because of their ability to turn, twist, tweak and spin write-ups in a way which suits and benefits their clients. I do this all the time. Though, since I have a journalistic background (I was a scribe for eight years before I turned PR 12 years ago), my conscience makes sure I draw a line of correctness and ethics even while I deal with gossip, spice and sensationalism; elements that today’s market-driven media seeks in abundance.

I have handled PR for Priyanka Chopra in her initial days, when she was surrounded by controversies. Later, I took care of Shilpa Shetty’s publicity and endeavoured to brand her as ‘the diva in news 24/7’ during the most spectacular five years of her career. This was through the thick and thin of the Celebrity Big Brother controversy, followed by the Richard Gere pecks controversy and many many many more. I used media help to build and propel newbie Sherlyn Chopra into the bold, shocking and outrageous brand that she is now known to be. Some time ago, I was hired by The Man magazine to put out all the gossip about the now-famous Neetu Chandra male-fantasy photo-shoot. The news-hammering probably got Neetu more national media mileage than the pre-release hype of her films. Please note that I am not bragging here, but trying to make a point that I achieved all this, simply by making some striking and hard-hitting headlines for the press releases and articles about my clients.

Some time ago a popular website termed me the “King of Spin”. Around the same time, the Live India television channel alleged that I create Controversy Queens out of my actress clients. To tell you the truth, I am no king – I’m just a PR who has mastered the art of playing with headlines. And if that makes me a Controversy Queen-maker, I don’t really mind the tag. Cause I am just doing my job.

If you have your publicist think in headlines too, you can be bang-on with our gossip-hungry media. You too can achieve national headlines and Breaking News for yourself and your products.

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